Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said that if President Donald Trump has nothing to hide, he must meet with special counsel Robert Mueller for an interview.
Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday, he weighed in on the FBI investigation and Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.
He also contradicted President Trump’s claim that the FBI had planted a “spy” on his campaign in 2016. Gowdy said the term “spy” is not how he would classify the situation.
Last week, Gowdy and Rep. Devin Nunes received a classified briefing from officials at the Department of Justice and FBI.
Gowdy said that based on the information he received, the FBI was investigating Russian influence, not monitoring the campaign’s political activity.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” he said.
On Trump’s frustrations with the special counsel’s investigation, Gowdy said that the president has made it clear several times in public that he has got nothing to do with collusion. He added that if he were Trump’s personal lawyer, he would strongly recommend the president to meet with Mueller and answer all questions.
He pointed to the fact that Trump had many a time stated that he wants to know if any of his campaign staff were involved in collusion. The Justice Department, led by Trump appointees like Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is doing just that, said Gowdy.
“Think back to what the president himself told James Comey. He said ‘I didn’t collude with Russia, but if anyone connected with my campaign did, I want you to investigate it.’ It strikes me that that’s exactly what the FBI was doing,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy’s remarks did not go well with the Republican top brass. Former Arkansas Governor, Mike Huckabee, distributed a 950-word treatise on Friday questioning Gowdy’s position.
Huckabee said Gowdy seemed to blindly accept the Justice Department’s briefing on the FBI informant. “Such credulity seems strangely out of character for someone like Gowdy, a seasoned prosecutor who knows better than to believe people who continue to hide mountains of evidence,” Huckabee told Politico.
Taking a dig at Gowdy, Rep. Mark Meadows said that he was “anxious” to see the evidence Gowdy had viewed that convinced him that the FBI’s use of a confidential informant to contact the Trump campaign was not politically motivated.